The police in Abuja are yet to release Dino Melaye, despite a court order that the senator should be released on bail once he meets his bail conditions.
The Maitama Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Friday accorded Mr Melaye bail with stringent conditions to allow him access to his doctors after the senator said he has been ill since he was arrested on January 4.
Mr Melaye was arrested at his residence in Abuja as a suspect in a homicide investigation.
The Kogi West senator with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party has denied involvement in the murder, which occurred in his state in 2018.
He accused the police under former Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris of being on a witch-hunt to weaken him politically. Mr Idris, who retired on January 15, denied trying to settle political scores with Mr Melaye.
On January 4, the senator surrendered and was subsequently arrested following an eight-day siege that began on December 28 at his residence in Maitama, a highbrow suburb of the nation’s capital.
Despite claiming that his health has deteriorated, the police declined to release him. Rather, they moved him to a medical facility run by the State Security Service in Abuja.
It was on the basis of his health that the court granted him bail, whose conditions include presenting three sureties who live and own properties in Abuja. The Clerk of the National Assembly was also required to sign the senator’s bail bond.
He satisfied the court’s demand on Monday, according to court filings seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
The police also said Mr Melaye is involved in the killing of Danjuma Saliu, a police officer, in Kogi State who was shot in a fracas in July 2018.
These allegations and fresh ones being filed against the senator were cited by police sources as the grounds for disregarding the court order for the senator’s freedom on health grounds.
The police in new charges for which they planned to dock Mr Melaye said the senator lied when he claimed a plot to plant weapons and other incriminating items in his residence during the week-long siege.
An alarm which Mr Melaye raised on Twitter that the police officers who stormed his residence to arrest him were being captured on security cameras as they made alleged sinister plots was cited as one of the evidence to be used when the trial opens this morning.
The police said the senator knew the claim was false but pushed it out nonetheless.
Mr Melaye in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES denied allegations of lying against the police. He suggested that the police were making a mockery of the judiciary by filing fresh charges before a court whose bail order they refused to obey.
The fresh charges were filed on January 14 while Mr Idris was still in office.
The new Inspector-General, Mohammed Adamu, has promised to discard the impunity and disregard for civil institutions that characterised his predecessor’s tenure, but it was unclear whether or not he had been briefed about the scheduled arraignment of Mr Melaye today.
Efforts to speak to the police spokesperson, Frank Mbah, were unsuccessful as he neither picked the phone calls nor responded to text messages put across to him. Also, the Abuja police spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, said he cannot speak on the matter when asked about police’s disregard of the court order on Tuesday morning.